The theme of this book is individual-rights vs. public-order. A good strategy to help you understand the separation of individual-rights advocates and public-order advocates is to hold a debate. First, determine whether you agree more with the individual-rights advocates or the public-order advocates. The issue you are to take a position on is drunk driving.
*Individual-Rights Advocate- One who seeks to protect personal freedoms within the process of criminal justice.
*Public-Order Advocate- One who believes that under certain circumstances involving a criminal threat to public safety, the interests of society should take precedence over individual rights.
The criminal justice system’s response to drunk driving has evolved significantly during the last 30 years. Drunk driving was virtually ignored in the 1970s; when an incident came to the attention of the criminal justice system, either it would be ignored or the drunk driver would receive a short sentence. Today drunk driving is considered a serious crime and is given high priority in many cities.
If you represent the individual-rights advocates, argue that the new emphasis on drunk driving is excessive. If you are viewing the issue as public-order advocates, provide reasons that strict enforcement of drunk-driving laws is a reasonable criminal justice response.
Do you see a trend in our society in favor of individual rights or public-order interests?